Don’t you just love how vast the internet is and that you can get whatever information you want in just a few minutes? As a developer, I appreciate its beauty and how people leverage its power to help others. How many times have you tried to search for some information and stumbled on a blog post with just what you were looking for? How grateful did you feel towards the author? I have had that feeling many times, and that was exactly my original motivation to start writing a blog.
The development community has strong roots in the spirit of open source and sharing. This attitude also trickles through blogs directed towards helping fellow developers. When I first started writing my personal blog 3 years ago, I couldn’t have imagined it was going to go this far, but I am glad that I managed to maintain the consistency — even this far down the road.
As a tribute to my long run in the blog world, I have come up with few conclusions that I would like to share with the community. Hopefully, these ideas will provide you the motivation to start blogging if you haven’t done so already.
If this post motivates at least 10 readers to start writing a blog, that would make me the happiest person in the world for a long time
Sharing technical knowledge
My primary motivation to blog was to write and share technical knowledge with people who might run into the same problems I did. Sometimes, it doesn’t even take me long to find a good blog topic; I just write about a new thing or gotcha that kept me intrigued for a significant amount of time. As soon as I can, I convert my thoughts and conclusions into a blog post.
I have been the user of open source libraries for long time. If my blog posts act as a kind of open source documentation for other people, I feel honored to have contributed knowledge back to the community.
Growing the skills
One of the best things about blogging is that you can backtrack your activities and knowledge as time passes. In that sense, blogging acts as a diary or a list of bookmarks about what you have learned.
Writing a blog is not just about technical skills. It also makes you a better writer. As you write content and get it reviewed by experienced people, they provide the constructive feedback. As you take the feedback positively and incorporate it into drafts, you will see your writing style improving over time.
Opportunity to act as a teacher
Blogging is a form of teaching. When I am writing a blog, I am thorough and diligent with my research to make sure the topic is well-understood and step-by-step examples are easily followed. I answer the “whys” and “whats” of all the moving parts. Anyone who has been a teacher will recognize that these questions are fundamental to the teaching process.
As you become more comfortable in this role, your ability to teach and explain things to people will also improve. So far I have been a mentor to three people at my current company, and the skills I learned through blogging played an important part for me to become a mentor.
Get deeper community connections
Blogging begins with a slow start, but if the blog content is good enough, you can become well-known in the blogging community by sharing the knowledge. If your colleagues, friends or relatives are trying to find something and if they find it on your blog, how good would that make you feel?
Many times my colleagues tried to find something I previously worked on, and they stumbled upon my blog. I was thrilled and honored to see the utility of my work, and it’s a strong motivation for me to keep writing.
Sometimes people like to give feedback, which is a good thing for learning and fixing mistakes. In some instances, when the content of my blog is deprecated or just doesn’t work for a particular circumstance, I am always open to suggestions and more than happy to make amends wherever necessary.
Blogging doesn’t have to be just about technical topics. You can also let the world know about your hobbies, interests, and special skill sets. For example, no one knew I was good at cooking and origami until I shared photos in one of my blog posts.
In summary, some takeaways:
- Blogging enhances sharing of knowledge and skill sets.
- Blogging allows you to form a deeper community connections.
- Consistent blogging backed by the strong feedback can improve both your technical and communication skills.
FAQs on blogging
Which platform do I use for blogging?
I use Ghost for blogging, and so far I’ve had a great experience with it. When I first subscribed to it, they had a minimal annual membership cost. As company took off, they increased the membership charges, but they let old customers continue with their original subscription cost as a token of appreciation.
You can also blog on other platforms like Blogger, Medium, or WordPress. Blog in your self-hosted blogging space, collaborative environment, or even company provided pages to get even better exposure and publicity.
Where do I write?
I usually blog wherever I find a comfortable and creative ambiance. In the past, I have written posts in airports, coffee shops, on planes, trains, or even the bus. The place doesn’t matter, but you want to make sure you can get into the zone and start putting thoughts into the publication.
If you’re having a difficult time concentrating on the content, try white noise or instrumental music to help you collect your thoughts.
I live in Boston, and there are many posts I’ve written while sitting in the Boston Public Library. If your city has libraries, that could be a great place to start.
So far I have close to 300 blog posts on my personal blog, and I am looking forward to writing many more. Remember, the primary reason for writing a blog is to share your experiences and knowledge, so it doesn’t have to be solely technical. If you learn something new, articulate it in your head, write and publish a post, and let the world enjoy it.
If you’re already a blogger, I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences on how you started blogging and what motivates you to keep going. If you’re new to blogging and you are already knowledgeable about certain things that you want to let the world know, write it now!
Do you have your own blog? What do you like to write about? How do you rate the experience of blogging? Did this post motivate you to blog more often? Please let us know your thoughts by commenting below.